The automobile industry is experiencing a historical, technological transformation. Every advancement in technology brings vehicles one step closer to being safer for passengers and the environment. While every safety feature installed in each car should be an essential factor in workflow processing and risk assessment, the challenge we face today is that the information at the vehicle identification number level is not readily available or cost-effective.
Meet MotorDNA, a cloud-based information platform that processes and delivers automobile build specifications (also known as Window Sticker or Monroney Sticker) in a unified and normalized format. The platform also provides cutting-edge analytics solutions for risk managers across different industries. MotorDNA is one of the newest companies in our Avanta Studios program and recently participated in our Spring Studios Showcase 2022.
We spoke with Tom War, Co-Founder of MotorDNA, about what inspired the founding of the company and how the platform is transforming the future of mobility.
What inspired you to start your company?
One of our co-founders was in a car accident with minor injuries but irrevocable damage to her car. After the incident, she purchased a vehicle with all the latest ADAS and safety features to get credit and discounts from insurers. However, it became evident that the vehicle data was neither leveraged by nor readily available for insurers. That is what inspired us to create MotorDNA.
What is the meaning behind the name of your company?
The name represents the vehicle and all of the related data attributes at the center of our value proposition. The original complete vehicle build specification and all ancillary data related to the vehicle itself can deliver value across multiple industry workflows. “Motor” represents the unit-level vehicle, and “DNA” represents the origin of that unit relating to the supply chain and the vehicle features with which it is manufactured.
Can you tell us a little bit about your company culture and values?
We are a customer-centric, agile, and fast startup. At MotorDNA, we strive to be collaborative, open, and direct. We value execution on the things that matter. What matters aligns with our “Why”: To produce safer outcomes in the mobility ecosystem, including our go-to-market (GTM) strategy and product roadmap. While our “why” drives our overall vision, our customers and partners are at the center of everything we do.
How do you impact your customers’ lives?
We aim to produce safer outcomes in the mobility ecosystem by leveraging data and technology. We are building an ecosystem where everyone wins by aligning financial incentives for consumers, Insurers, regulators, and original equipment manufacturers. Those financial incentives are simply to increase demand for safer vehicles and lower the total cost of ownership. The insurance industry is key. MotorDNA will pre-fill vehicle feature level data early in the quote and underwriting process. This will increase an insurer’s conversion rate as well as improve the accuracy of the quote. Insurers should look to remove friction and improve service early to win more market share. An insurer should no longer be asking a consumer for an accounting of the features installed in their vehicle(s).
Tell us more about your company. What are the benefits of your product?
Our platform has benefits across multiple industries and use cases. A few benefits include lowering total loss ratios for insurers, improving pricing and underwriting models, and reducing fraud. MotorDNA also strives to provide better customer service, opportunities for segmentation, marketing, and product differentiation for disciplined insurers. Auto lenders also want an accurate view of loan to value of the underlying asset to eliminate misrepresentation fraud.
Which industries do you target?
Insurance, Fleet Management, Auto Lenders, Regulators, and Dealers, for marketplace products.
Which current technology trends in the insurance industry and the world at large impact your business?
The dramatic disruption in mobility based on emerging technologies has had the most significant impact on our company. New and smarter ADAS features is one side of a trend that ends in autonomous vehicles. This impacts us all. Our vehicles are becoming smarter and starting to engage in the driving process. As a result, vehicle data is becoming a more significant role player in the underwriting process.
How is your approach unique to the market?
We are taking a direct and indirect approach to the vast yet consolidated insurance market. We work with strategic partners for extended tail opportunities in multiple industries. Our marketplace product will also increase demand from insurers by educating consumers about the relative safety of vehicles and rewarding insurers who recognize the data as relevant opportunities to win a consumer’s business.
What’s the market size for this opportunity?
The target industries’ total addressable market for vehicle and ancillary data products is approximately $30 billion.
What’s your company’s long-term vision?
We are creating an ecosystem with MotorDNA as the hub providing data and data-related products to each stakeholder. We plan to provide data enrichment for better and more specific outcomes for insurers, lenders, OEMs, and regulators. The impact of data appropriately shared across the ecosystem will accelerate the relative value for all parties. Additionally, we endeavor to power regulators and educate consumers on the importance of a Vehicle IQ score and the impact on their safety and insurance costs.
Could you talk about why you decided to participate in Avanta Studios and what this decision has yielded for your startup thus far?
We see the Avanta Studios program as an excellent opportunity to create more awareness and validate our belief that standardized and complete vehicle build is an underserved area of the insurance workflow. Working with Avanta Ventures could help accelerate partnerships, increase revenue, and attract venture capital investment.
About Motor DNA
MotorDNA is a cloud-based information platform that processes and delivers automobile build specifications (also known as Window Sticker or Monroney Sticker) for all makes and models in the US in a unified and normalized format and cutting-edge analytics solutions for risk managers across different industries.
Learn more here.
About Avanta Ventures Studios
Avanta Studios is CSAA Insurance Group’s accelerator program for pre-Seed stage startups in the insurtech, mobility, and risk-adjacent market segments. The Avanta Studios program enables startups to partner with Avanta Ventures and CSAA Insurance Group to jointly explore new markets, business models, and technologies. Avanta Studios offers a customized advisory and mentor-driven approach to helping startups reach their milestones.
Learn more here.